By now, every business owner out there should understand the importance of having an online presence. And, if you haven’t got a website for your company yet, it’s likely to be on your to-do list. However, before you take the plunge and either build a site yourself or hire a developer to do it for you, there are a few things you should do.
You see, building a website is one thing, but creating something that your customers will love is another entirely. In this guide, we’re going to go through everything you need to do before deciding to get your website build underway – let’s take a closer look.
We all now it’s important to have a website, but one question you must answer is: why? What are your goals for having an online presence? Do you want to expand your current market reach? Is it because you want to make more sales? Or, do you just need a way of harvesting potential customer’s email addresses for use at a later date? All are good reasons for having a website, but the reason – or reasons – for building a site will inform your entire digital strategy.
The next step is to start thinking about everything you need to have on your site. Never start developing a website without doing this first, and the result will end up being a complete mess – and you will forget half of the important features and information that will be essential to your success. Start mapping out each page – what info will go where? Work out a simple navigation system, too, ensuring your site links together in a logical and clear cut way. Even if you use the best web designer in your locale, they will expect this kind of input from you at the very least – otherwise, they will struggle to deliver their best work.
When it comes to using a web design platform and content management system, WordPress is one of the most popular options on the planet. And, according to WordPress developers Spark Logix Studios, there are a few good reasons why. The platform is flexible and capable of creating anything from a simple blog to a fully-functional e-commerce site. The learning curve for WordPress is not too steep, either, and there are plenty of template options available for anyone out there who doesn’t know how to code.
Blog posts, podcasts, infographics, and video are all essential for the modern website. Creating engaging, compelling content is beneficial to your business in many different ways. It sends signals to Google and other search engines that can highlight you as an authority in your subject matter. It is also a great way of showing real people and potential customers that you know what you are talking about. And finally, content creation helps your business stand out from the crowd – as long as you are giving your audience something good to talk about, share with their friends and colleagues, and perk up their interest in the subject matter.
Don’t overcook the design of your website – it’s just asking for trouble. The vast majority of consumers will get thrown a little if they are served up something that appears illogical, over complicated, and unnecessarily busy on the eye. Clean and straightforward websites almost always get a lot more traction than a site that has too much going on. Don’t forget, people are drawn to things that are appealing to the eye, and just like a living room always looks better when you declutter it, so does a clean and fresh website.
Once you start your online presence, it’s important to have strict rules in place to ensure that everyone knows what your business is about. Consistency is key across all your online channels – not just your website, but also your social media presence, emails, and PPC advertising. Strong branding means that whenever someone sees your business online, they will always know what to expect. So, consider everything from the logo you design and the font you use through to the way you communicate and present yourself online. Deliver your message in a consistent way, and you will find you start cutting through a lot of the noise, and start building a convincing and compelling voice in your industry.
Building a website is just like any other business activity. And given this fact, you must be able to track your progress along the way. So, invest in some project management software that is suitable for your needs. Plan a completion date and work towards that as a primary goal, to ensure that you launch your site on time. Doing this will allow you to drum up some interest from your other channels – your Facebook page, for example – and when launch day arrives, you should be able to bring in a decent audience from Day One.
Whenever you use any kind of software technology, you can guarantee that there will be bugs. It is critical that you plan for these, as many will only become apparent when you launch. As soon as traffic starts to arrive on your site, all manner of things can occur, and you need to be quick to put things right.
You won’t know if your website is a success unless you are analyzing the data. And, even more importantly, you won’t be able to identify some of the features and content that aren’t quite working. Using analytics is the only way to ensure that your website is always adjusting to your customer’s needs. You can see where things are going right – and wrong. And then it’s a case of tweaking things a little to ensure that everything gets back on track. Finally, learning how to read the data is such an invaluable skill, and will, ultimately, help you bring in more targeted traffic and deliver the goods to your customers every time they pay you a visit.